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The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Worshipful Company of Farmers Helm argues for the creation of a a a a a a a nature fund to to foster more comprehensive and and coherent restoration and and maintenance of natural capital He suggest this could be created by pooling the already existing expenditures on on on agricultural subsidies plus expenditures on on on flood defence water companies and nature protection activities of Defra and its agencies supplementing these with the the revenues from his proposed pollution taxes (including but not only on on on on fertilisers pesticides and and carbon) and and from the environmental net gain charges to developers He also has ideas for charges on those depleting natural capital assets (oil gas and minerals) The idea for a a a a a a a a nature fund fund is is is built on the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund fund This is is is accumulated from oil and gas revenues and used for the the benefit of of future generations The suggested objective of of the the nature fund is to provide the the the the basis for achieving the the the the aim of the the the the 25 Year Environment Plan ‘to leave the the the the natural environment in in a a a a a a a a better state for future generations’ Helm is all too aware of of the practical difficulties of of ensuring worthwhile expenditures from such a a a a fund fund He stresses the the independence of the the fund fund managers working to pre-agreed plan of of of what has to be delivered with robust assessment He warns of of of the danger of of of ‘capture’ by interest groups – he he he especially singles out farmers and the the NFU but also ‘key individuals’ with their “particular ideas like rewilding and technological fixes” (p261) The final chapter of Helm’s blueprint discusses his idea for a a a a a a a a a (national nature) plan He He is is is clear on on the need for the the plan to work from a a a a a a a a a a a robust accounting base on the the state of all natural assets (rivers farmland soils uplands coasts) He suggests it will need to to establish a a a a a a a a risk register to to ensure these assets are maintained to guide resource allocation from the the the nature fund perhaps under the the the 10 goals spelled out in the the the 25 YEP He is is also realistic about the many practical challenges of defining and operating such as fund fin in in in a a a a a a a a a a a coherent and integrated way at at different scales – even with the benefits of new technologies However Helm is less
In short Helm’s prescription for a a a a a green green and and prosperous land is strong on on on achieving the greenery – with a a a a a combination of the elements: public goods pollution taxes net environmental gain a a a a a a a a nature fund managed by a a a a a a strong independent body working to to a a a a a a long-term national nature plan This might well contribute to to broadly defined national prosperity prosperity but the the the impact on on the the the prosperity prosperity of the the the land management sector itself is not investigated The public goods and and environmental net gain ideas are explicitly part of the agriculture and and environment Bills The extent to which the the other ideas will be picked up is not yet clear 3 3 3 3 Lang – Feeding Britain
Tim Lang is Professor of of Food Policy at at City University London and has been a a a a a a prominent commentator on on on food food and agricultural matters for many years His book Feeding Britain
also has a a a a a a a a a a sub-title: Our food food problems
61 and how to fix them The bulk of of the the book (420 of of 469 pages) is taken up defining the the problems
clear on on on the the institutional and and operational details of the the plan Where and and how to embed it it its independent ability to to work from scientific evidence and especially his bête noire how to to keep vested interests at at bay? He wants a a a a a a “proper Environment Protection Agency charged with regulating licensing prosecuting and and and enforcing across public and and and private sectors with a a a a a a a a a a broader domain and and and more legal teeth than the Office for Environmental Protection ” (p281) But he he is is is pessimistic about achieving this Indeed towards the the end of his chapter on the the Plan he he he he sounds a a a a a a a depressing note that “The result is is likely to be a a a a a a a muddle and a a a a a a a muddle that blurs institutional responsibilities and loses the integrated approach It does not have to be like this but but probably will be (p282) ” Perhaps realistic but but sad how to ensure 35
Surprisingly he he he did not refer to the the challenge challenge of dealing with the the challenge challenge that environmental management is is a a a a a a a a a a devolved area in in in UK administration and politics 61 Lang Tim (2020) Feeding Britain
Our food problems
and how to fix them Pelican Books London 567pp 

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